Panama City, Panama | IAD Staff

As students from the Metropolitan Adventist School played their percussion instruments and marched to the beat of the band in front of the presidential palace during Panama’s annual independence celebration on Nov. 4, Adventist teacher Mildred de Cubilla handed a Bible to the president and first lady. Hundreds of schools and organizations joined in the day-long celebration across the palace in Panama City, to celebrate Panama’s 112th year of independence from Colombia.

“This is a Bible the Adventist Church has prepared in a very special way for women,” said Cubilla. Cubilla was accompanied by students and teachers at the event. “We wanted to give [the Bible] to you so that it can be you main guide as you lead this country along with your husband.”

President of Panama Juan Carlos Valera and his wife Lorena Castillo de Valera received the gift.

First Lady Lorena Castillo de Valera later wrote on her Facebook Page that she asked God for a message. “ I opened the Bible to Psalm 112. 112 years of independence. It cannot be more clear. The Lord continues to guide us, THANK YOU” said Castillo de Valera.

Seventh-day Adventist leaders are happy to have shared the Bible with the presidential couple. It is the first time that any Adventist Institution has ever given a Holy Bible to the nation’s president and first lady, said Javier Castrellon, education director for the church in Panama.

“This was a great opportunity for our Metropolitan Adventist School to represent dozens of our institutions here in Panama which follow the Adventist philosophy and principles of the Bible to fulfill the mission of the church,” said Castrellon. The celebrations were carried live on national television throughout the day.

Schools across the Central American nation participate in patriotic marches every year during independence celebrations.

The Adventist Church in panama operates 34 educational institutions which employ 368 teachers and have a total enrollment of 5,634 students.

For more information about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Panama, visit